On Aging: Is 70 Becoming the New 50?

The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50

by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

In perusing the book, “The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50” by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, I can see that my own observations are backed up by the fact that many people over the age of 50 are not aging as they used to. People are living longer and remaining active and connected to their world. It is interesting that demographers now refer to people in the third 25 year phase of their lives (ages 50 through 75) as “neither young nor old”.

People in the third chapter of their lives are no longer as centered around the rituals of their career, but are embracing new challenges and ideas and are often searching for greater meaning and seeking expanded learning opportunities in order to enrich their lives.

This book, by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, a sociologist and professor of education at Harvard University, delves into the lives of forty interviewees, both men and women over the age of 50, who had made significant life changes during the third chapter of their lives. These individuals were interviewed over a two-year period and portray the ways in which wisdom, experience and new learning has inspired individual growth and cultural transformation, leading to their becoming different people.

The book, available from Amazon.com (Third-Chapter-Passion-Adventure-Years) , is well written and easy to read. It shows us the possibility that exists for continued growth and advancement well into our lives... if we care to look for it.

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